He was the best guard in the NFL before he blew out his Achilles the first time, and he was the best guard when he got back.
And Brandon Brooks doesn’t see any reason this time should be any different.
I plan to pick up where I left off, as the best in the league,” Brooks said Friday on Quick Slants with Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks. “That’s just my mentality as far as attacking the rehab, and that’s what I expect when I get back.
Brooks tore his right Achilles during the Saints playoff game in 2018, was back by opening day 2019 and had his third straight Pro Bowl season.
This time he tore his left Achilles, and he’s not expected back at all until 2021, when he’ll be 32, but he said he doesn’t worry about the injuries affecting his play on the field.
He said he doesn’t even think about it.
“Dude, if I was worried about that, I wouldn’t have come back (as) the best guard in the league,” he said. “If I was worried about my age or coming back from this injury, I wouldn’t be where I am today. This is just another setback, but I’ve been through so much you get used to being through stuff like this. It’s second nature. You see light where there is no light. I’ll be 31 in August, but you have different guys around the league who play well damn near 40. Terrell Suggs tore both his Achilles, he played forever. Jason Peters tore his ACL, tore his Achilles (twice), played forever. I’m not worried about it at all. Not one bit.”
Brooks, who missed the end of last season with a shoulder injury, suffered his latest injury Monday and underwent surgery on Thursday.
Brooks said he got hurt on the seventh or eighth of a series of 60-yard shuttle runs — 15 yards out and back twice.
“If I was going to have something happen, man, I’d rather have it happen going 100 miles an hour, me doing what I love,” Brooks said. “I look at it as part of the game.”
Brooks said noted foot and ankle surgeon Robert Anderson performed the procedure Thursday in Green Bay, Wisc., and is optimistic for a full recovery.
Brooks returned to Philadelphia on Friday.
“Now, it’s just grinding it out,” Brooks said. “I guess the fortunate thing is that I tore my right one so I know what it’s going to look like day in and day out and what to expect and what works best.”
Brooks has been through so much the last few years, and through it all he’s remained as positive and inspirational a person as you’ll ever find.
He missed two games in 2016 and most of a third last season because of anxiety and has spoken candidly about his struggles with mental health. There was the Achilles in 2018, the dislocated shoulder that kept him out of the playoffs last year and now another Achilles.
Brooks said you’ll never find him asking, “Why me,” or feeling sorry for himself.
“S—t don’t faze me, man,” Brooks said. “It’s part of life. I just roll with the punches like Ali, man. The second you sit here and cry about, ‘Why me, it could have been somebody else,’ or whatever? That’s the second you lose.
“It’s never about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do. … I think too many times we think about what we can’t do. It’s never about that side. Once you get into that side it gets to a dark place. I have done that before a little bit earlier in my career and that’s just not something that I wanted to continue. … Positive attitude goes a super long way. I’m never going to get down on myself.”
Brandon Brooks is living, breathing proof of the power of positive thinking.
Can he once again be the best guard in the NFL?
I wouldn’t bet against him.
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